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jmtitus

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Reply with quote  #1 
It was ten years ago today that Michael Hedges ran off the road on his way back to Mendocino in a horrific rain storm. That night we lost one of the greatest players that ever lived.

Over the next few days, do yourself a favor and take some time to sit-down with a cup of tea or a cup o' joe and listen to Michael's message through his music. I recommend taking a walk back through Aerial Boundaries, finding time with Taproot and looking around the corner at Oracle. That boy could lay it down!

I'll never forget that night of December 1st, 1997... I was in the same rain storm but on Route 1 just outside of Mendocino headed south. It was the day before my birthday and I was on a long drive, thinking about life and the cosmos. I couldn't see 5 feet in front of the car and had to drive about 5 miles an hour just to stay on the road.

Michael, at approximately that same time, ran off the road and passed-away at some point over the next 2 days. I already felt a strong emotional connection to Michael through his music and I believe that, as we are all connected in this existence, Michael remains a part of this whole forever.

Dream Out Loud! Each note is a precious gift.




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Carlson Oracle 24-string Harp Sympitar
Carlson Taproot 18-string Baritone Harp Sympitar

Discography:
Wood Dragon (debut solo album)
Harp Guitar Dreams - compilation (track 8 - Mahjabeen)
Together Alone - B. Hoyt (track 2 - Martyr's Last Crossing)
What We Don't Know (digital single) - w/ Michael Manring
nate

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Reply with quote  #2 
The man was very special to both me and my wife.  I met my wife on April 9 1994 and she and I went on our first date on the 10th to Park west Chicago to see the first of what would be four of his concerts.  That night a waitress walked by us and tripped spilling... her tip cup on me (I think that may be good luck in some countries). 

We were completely overwhelmed by his music.  We went on to be fans and followers.  On our one year wedding anniversary we were blessed by meeting the man.  Unfortunately I was star struck and speechless (yes I was speechless).

I remember the moment I was told the news of his passing. I was walking down the hallway of grace hospital doing rounds for a cardiology rotation.  I remember exactly where I was standing and who told me.  A true Kennedy moment.  I remember immediately calling me wife.  It was a rough day afterwords.  I raced to a computer to confirm what I did not believe.

Regardless his spirit lives with me even today.  My children know who he is (but do not know who John Mayer is) and think part of playing guitar involves hitting it percussively (of course....)  I miss him on a regular basis.

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nate blaustein
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rexjames

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Reply with quote  #3 
what heart felt comments brotheren, thanks for sharing! 
my brother and i found a windham hill guitar sampler belonging to our Dad, with him on it in 96' around xmas-time. we immediatly felt a connection to his compositions and playing styles. both of us were playing bass guitar at the time and exparamenting on the acoustic guitar. between he and Leo Kottke, they managed to convert us! i always found that his musical messages were so spiritual and much deeper than the surface listener gets. i remember it was a strange thing to hear that he had died, shortly after discovering him. i will never forget reading Leo Kottke's article talking about him, saying it was so upseting he wrote a song about it late in a motel the night he heard the news, but was called by the front desk saying to be quiet! (what a stab!)... it was great finally seeing them perfrom together on a youtube video, and a real treat, tho sadening.  
at HGG3 in salem i never felt more connected and enthrawlled by the intence love and passion created by a group of people so revolved around the potential legacy! hearing Mckee and Gregg Miner, play their hedges inspired pieces was a memory i will forever hold dear!
Dave has learned several of hedges pieces and performs them regularly.
~Baal T' shuva
~ragamuffin
~aura munta
~India
~arrowhead

i also find it very interesting that his father was a Baptist preacher!

he is well prepared to pluck the strings in eternity!
     

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Chris_Bucklen

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Reply with quote  #4 

Thanks for the important reminder...
 
MH changed my life forever...
 
His HarpGuitar playing was a TINY part of his art, though most who don't know him well simply define him by this strange instrument he sometimes played (kind of like Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire or playing with his teeth).
 
"Ragamuffin" to me, is his definitive song, though of course many, many other songs of his are so important to what we all believe in.
 
Jimi~Electric
Michael~Acoustic
 
Not so dissimilar when you think about it.

We obviously owe allot to this man!

 

btw...I remember seeing his picture in our local paper exactly 10 years ago with an accompanying article and me thinking before I read it, "FINALLY some press for my all-time favorite musician..."

Damn! Not what I had in mind.
 
 
 




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Chris Bucklen
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Frank

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks for posting this Jeff!  I too remember exactly when and where I heard the news.  I was driving home from work on a stormy New England evening, just passing Walden Pond, when I heard the report on NPR.  What a horrible night!

I was lucky enough to get out to see Michael play on many occasions and to talk with him several times over the years.  I will never forget the shy, humble, young man he was when I met him on his first east coast tour.  It was fascinating to watch him blossom into the artistic powerhouse he became.  I was also lucky enough to be studying at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music when guitar department head John Stropes was working on the Hedges book.  John showed me the videotaped performances he was using to transcribe pieces for the book.  It was mind blowing to see what his hands were doing up close.  I saw much more than met the eye in concert.  Michael was a true original!

Chris, of course, you are correct in that the harp guitar was only a small part of Michael's art.  He changed the way that pretty much everyone after him thought about the acoustic guitar.  The man lives on in the continued explorations of thousands of players worldwide.  It is certainly easy to see the influence he's had on our community.

Jeff's listening recommendations are excellent.  It is also interesting to note how well developed his artistry was on Breakfast in the Field, to experience the raw energy of Live on the Double Planet, and the heartfelt singer/songwriter material on Watching My Life Go By.  I would also recommend Chava's Song, on Jeff Titus' own CD, as a very fitting way to remember the man.  I'm sure Michael would have loved hearing his music on a Carlson harp sympitar!

Take care!

--Frank
Stephen_W

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Reply with quote  #6 
I never met the man. In fact, I didn't really know about him until after his death. I'd been living in a different world were music was the last thing on my mind. I stumbled across Preston Reed while looking for info on Ovation guitars. I had started looking into getting a new guitar with the idea of getting back into playing, (after about 20 years). WOW! Preston just blew me away. Then I started looking for similar alternate style players and I found Don Ross and some others. Like I said, it was several years later that I found Michael's music. I'd been listening to it on a sampler CD but didn't clue into who he was until I heard Monkey Business Man by Michael Mannring. While searching for more info on Mannring I learned he'd played bass for several of the artists on the Windomhill label of which one was Michael Hedges. Funny how things work out. I searched out Michael only to learn he'd died about six months prior.
 
Since it appears that the Rootwitch website will not be making a comeback any time soon, Jeffery Dunning has created a Yahoo Group community for the purpose of Michael Hedges based discussions.

Group home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rootwitch2
 



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the Dreamer
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nate

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Reply with quote  #7 
Ironically, I just went to go see August Rush with my wife.  I do highly recommend this movie.  It is very inspiring.  However, there is a scene in the movie where the kid starts street performing with his acoustic guitar.  The song they chose for that special moment....  Ritual Dance.

Even after ten years he is still with us.

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nate blaustein
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Reply with quote  #8 
Should have slept earlier one night, but sat through most of the August Rush movie, as the draw of some Hedges music was too strong.

The credits seemed to indicate it was Kaki King playing "Ritual Dance." Anybody out there have credits on who played each song in the movie?

Bruce Hammond


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nate

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Reply with quote  #9 
I have the soundtrack; Mark mancina was the mastermind behind the songs.  Kaki did the hard guitar stuff and Jon Meyers (the actor in the movie) did most of the singing.  There was an article in acoustic guitar not too long ago about the thought processes behind the music.



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nate blaustein
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Gregg

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Reply with quote  #10 
While up at the Titus', I saw an unusual "promo only" LP with a new image of Michael.  I also finally snagged one of those Guitar World "posters" of  his (first, apparently) Dyer.  A small surprise there.  I took the opportunity and found another few new images on the net, and updated Nate's old featured player article with 6 new images.
Enjoy!


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Chris_Bucklen

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Reply with quote  #11 

Thanks for all of your hard work Gregg! The new Michael Hedges page seems to have a mistake... (OH NO)! Kelly McGillis narrated "Santabears First Christmas" not Geena Davis. Anyway... 

I remember buying the album the day it came out blindly without even checking the liner notes or track listings (Hey it was a new MH record) and being kind of dissapointed that not only were some of the songs previously realeased but the music on side 1 was the same as side two.

Also, the recording seemed subpar in that you could hear about a 1 second "reverse echo" at the beginning of each track (meaning you could faintly hear the beginning of the songs just before they actually started). I politely wrote a letter personally to Will Ackerman about charging me full price for only half of an album and of that side, half of THAT music I had already paid for by purchasing other Hedges records. I recieved no response.

Thanks again Gregg!

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Chris Bucklen
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Gregg

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Reply with quote  #12 
Well, the next phase of our Hedges research is about complete.  Thanks to new donations and research by Frank Doucette, Bob Hartman and myself, we've collaborated with original author Nate Blaustein for this update, and I think we've finally got just about everything there is currently available on "the harp guitar world of Michael Hedges."
In fact, there's so much new cool stuff, I've made it the Featured Player Article all over again.
Enjoy!

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MKnut

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Reply with quote  #13 

Here's another pic from the "helmet" session, apparently...


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